Here's the long held wisdom about men and women and gossip. Women gossip, men exchange information.  If you went out and asked a hundred men if they gossip, the overwhelming majority would say, "No."  A recent study reveals that not only do men gossip, but it's actually a bonding ritual.  As we say in the biz..But wait, there's more:

Canadian researcher Dr. David C. Watson recently conducted a study wherein he learned that women will gossip about a friend's wardrobe,  appearance or relationships. Men, on the other hand, tend to gossip about achievements, their jobs or salaries. I'm sure that includes the achievements (or lack of them) jobs and salaries of other men as well.

From Men's Health Magazine

Dr. Watson said that since male friendships are characterized by engaging in group activities, “gossip can serve to enhance the bond between individuals within the group.” That means their gossip actually strengthens their friendships, likely because men tend to bond based on status — and the more knowledge and control of information they have, the more apt they are to increase their status.

For women, the opposite can be true. “Female friendships are more characterized by communion or intimacy,” says Watson. “Gossip can be more of a threat to the relationship than it [is] in male friendships.”

The bottom line?

Watson says that although the function of gossip may differ based on the nature of male and female friendships, it has “an important friendship function as it can be positive, negative, or neutral.”

Editorial Note: I'm glad somebody got paid to do a study, but "positive, negative or neutral" is not a conclusion!

[MSNBC]